Cabarrus EDC Receives Funding for Minority-Led Entrepreneurship Access Center

Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation (Cabarrus EDC) is among seven entrepreneur support organizations in North Carolina to be selected for an ECOSYSTEM grant through NC IDEA. The funding comes from a partnership between NC IDEA and the Research Triangle Foundation (RTF), who announced a $250,000 initial commitment to support the grant program.

Cabarrus EDC will use the grant funding to support the development of a minority-led Access Center at the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in downtown Concord, North Carolina. The Access Center will support entrepreneurship for underserved populations including Black, indigenous, people of color, and female founders and entrepreneurs.

“As we’ve worked to build programming and support at the Cabarrus Center, bringing resources to minority and women-owned businesses in our community has been top of mind,” says Page Castrodale, Executive Director of Cabarrus EDC. “We are grateful that NC IDEA recognizes the importance of the work we’re doing and look forward to seeing how their support will allow us to make an impact.”

The Cabarrus Center will develop the Access Center in collaboration with partners from:

  • The Institute | Direct support with necessary funding
  • Women’s Business Center of Charlotte | A member of the Cabarrus Center Entrepreneurship Council and funded by the Institute
  • New Ventures – The Come-Up Accelerator | Partnering with Hustle of Winston-Salem – focused on minority founders of scalable businesses
  • Community Development Financial Institutions – Self-Help and Aspire | Financial literacy, micro loans, and low-interest loans
  • City Startup Labs | Holistic approach to minority entrepreneurship, assisting with curriculum
  • Provident 1898 | Acquire search fund program partnership with Flywheel Foundation
  • Flywheel Foundation | Affiliate program for Learning Management System, Equilibrium Fund for social impact investing
  • Local MWBE Programs | Cabarrus County and Local Municipality Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise programs

“We are thrilled to have the support of NC IDEA,” says Peter Marsh, cofounder of Flywheel and a founding Director of The Flywheel Foundation. “The grant will make a tangible difference in our being able to properly serve populations that experience barriers on the entrepreneurial journey, and will strengthen our regional collaboration with minority- and women-focused service organizations.”

Flywheel designed and operates the Cabarrus Center in collaboration with over a dozen organizational members of the Entrepreneurship Council that governs the Cabarrus Center activities. The Flywheel Foundation is a member of that council and will administer the Access Center program.

Grant funding for the Access Center will cover staff and administrative costs as well as a second round of micro-grants and scholarships in the Spark Grant program and Retail Lab this fall.

Stay tuned on our website and social media as we develop the Access Center at the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Visit the Cabarrus Center’s website at cabarruscenter.com.

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